This weekend became a surprise trip to Lancaster after an email from the head of the department telling us about an event for prospective maths PhD students run by the London Mathematical Society. Not sure where I am headed, I signed up!
Off Friday morning from Euston and a snooze on the train, I reached Lancaster at midday and successfully used Google Maps to get a bus to campus. With a quick bite and a welcome, we were ushered into the world of mathematical research with talks from leading professors and researchers in UK universities. Some of the talks were really interesting, introducing ideas of cloaking, spread of infectious diseases and complexity. It was also amazing to meet students from other universities in the exact same position of their degree, sharing and learning from each other’s experiences.
I had a super tight window between the talks and dinner and found myself a pretty woodland trail route for a run. Next, at dinner, I luckily sat with a bunch of guys who were hungry and not embarrassed to go for seconds. With our bellies full with strawberries and cream for dessert, I finally got back to my room to unpack and settle for bed.
The next day was quite the same with an early breakfast in the canteen and then talks throughout the rest of it. I sneaked in the pomcast episode with Andrea during the lunch break – it was great to get that restarted!
After the day ended and with plans to meet each other again soon, I headed back to my room and successfully convinced my new friend to join me on a run. This time with more experience, it was a great jaunt up and down the hilly trail through the woods, around the Sports Centre and back again.
Next, we headed into the town to meet with some others and went a-wandering. Our first stop was the Lancaster castle which, to our surprise, had been turned into a prison and was in use as recently as 2011!
Trying to climb and balance on bits of the wall, we found that even the steps up to the castle had engravings dating back into the 1800s.
We followed a trail through another field and finally reached the River Lune – a beautiful and pretty big river than runs through the city and much nicer than our muddy ole’ Thames. Balanced on a steep wall with a steep drop into the river on the other side, I got my new Italian friend to display his photography skills.
Now, I haven’t mentioned food since my run today because there hasn’t been any! Starving, we said goodbye to some of the guys who were headed back and made our way to an iconic Fish and Chips shop. With the final rays of the sun, we sunk into the classic British cuisine on the gardens of the University of Cumbria campus.
And that was the day! What am I up to next? Well, wait and see!